Airline withholds landing charge rise


Budget airline easyJet is to hold back paying some of the “unlawful and damaging” increase in landing charges at Gatwick Airport pending a legal challenge.

EasyJet and other airlines are incensed at a 21% increase in charges at the airport that the Civil Aviation Authority has allowed airport operator BAA to impose from April 1 this year.

Chief executive of easyjet Andy Harrison has written to BAA saying it will hold back “a proportion” of the increased charge pending a judicial review of the new Gatwick price regime.

If its legal challenge fails, the airline will hand over the withheld money. But if the challenge succeeds and a lower charge is set, then the money saved would go to customers, it said.

The airline said it had given BAA until Wednesday to agree to the arrangement.

In his letter to BAA chief executive Colin Matthews, Mr Harrison wrote: “We are determined to address a regulatory decision which we consider to be unlawful and damaging for the airlines, our passengers and the industry as a whole.”